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The weekend before break, JSL came home from kindergarten with a bag from his classroom. It was to announce that it was his turn to be Kindergarten Star of the Week. On Monday, he had to bring in some items that would fit into the bag to share with the class. It could be toys, a book, and other items that had a special meaning to him. In addition to this, JSL had to decorate and fill out a Star of the Week poster. He would share this with his classmates and after it would be on the door for everyone to see.
Since TechyDad and NHL were busy finishing up a Native American project for fourth grade, JSL and I went to Nana and Papa’s house to use their kitchen table. We brought pictures, stickers, glitter, markers, and crayons along with us.
As you can see, the poster was really quite large. There was a lot to color in and fill out. JSL had fun answering the questions and planning how to decorate the poster. He really got into it and wanted it to be just a certain way.
First, JSL filled out his name and birthday. After that, he wrote that his favorite color was blue (no shock there). When he grows up, he wants to be a Dad. His hobbies are coloring, running, playing Nintendo, singing, and doing crafts. JSL’s favorite food is Mac and Cheese and Pizza (ultimate favorite Cici’s Mac and Cheese Pizza). Oh and JSL’s favorite sport is hockey.
When he was finished with everything, this is what JSL’s beautiful posted looked like:
Have any of your children done a Star of the Week poster like this for school? I would love to know what they wrote and shared with their class.
Teachers are with our children for more hours each week day than we are. Every day they teach, guide, love, and protect our kids. As an educator, I need to admit something. I never thought of my students as someone else’s. Yes, for that academic year they were also mine. If they were home sick, I worried about them. If they were celebrating a big event, I cheered them on. When they needed someone to talk with in confidence, my ear was always there.
No teacher is perfect and I often have to stop myself from being THAT parent. The one that jumps to conclusions and gets upset with a project, lack of communication, or way something is handled. Then I think about all of the items that a teacher has on his/her plate these days. They wear a lot of hats and are expected to mold the next generation in a myriad of ways.
This weekend, I spent some time and e-mailed both of the main teachers that work with my boys. I wanted them to know that I appreciate all that they do. I know thanks to them and the school community that my kids are in a safe place. Crazy things can happen in any location, even a school, but their teachers, principal, and other support staff would protect them without blinking an eye.
To the heroic teachers that lost their lives last Friday, may memories live with your students and families to keep your messages moving forward. Please take a moment today or this week to remember and thank a special teacher from your life or in the life of a child.
Thank you to Julie Meyers Pron at Julieverse.com for sharing this idea with all of us. I hope more people will join in to thank other educators.
Last night we dropped Daddy and NHL off to a prior commitment that they had. After that we went off to a fun evening at your school. Since you are a kindergarten kid and need to get to know the building, people, and community it seemed like an important item for us to go to.
I am so glad that we went. You were not too sure about things when we started out, but then you quickly perked up. We started off with getting a PTA membership card. They also had the school t-shirts on sale. Thank goodness they had one left in your size. I suggested that we put it on you. The smile that lit up your face was priceless. You were so proud and seemed to have more of a connection to the school racing around with the logo on your chest.
Then we wandered around and you wanted to make sure we brought something home for NHL. So we donated some money for cookies to take home with us. After this we wandered to the crafting area. Your art teacher gave up a seat since she was finishing with her family and you sat down to make something fun.
When you were finished, we went into the dance area where you found a friend from your class. We followed them to the silent auction area. We bought some tickets and you had fun placing them into bags to try to win something. Then, you went to get a tattoo on your hand with the school logo. After that we took one more trip to the Scholastic Book Fair and bought another Pete the Cat book.
After almost two hours, it was time to head off to get Daddy and NHL. We shared everything with them. This morning you had to put your school shirt on immediately because you love it so much. I have a feeling this may have been our best decision ever. Thank you for sharing a fun evening at your new school with me.
Homework is the expected norm for all school age children. Heading into kindergarten with my youngest in September, I was well aware that times have changed and things would be very different. Skill building begins early and reinforcement is expected at home. As a teacher, I used to give out my fair share of homework and long term projects for students. Now, I am being shown the other side of the picture. Thank goodness neither of the boys have a lot of homework. JSL is still at the age that he thinks it is fun and with any luck it will stay that way for a while.
Recent homework made me think about a post I had written for an old project that is very relevant these days. I would love to hear your strategies for helping children to be successful with homework and working on independence.
Do you remember having homework in elementary school? I have to admit, I do not really remember anything until second or third grade. The reality is that children entering kindergarten will begin to have small amounts of homework. Most of the time, it will just be something small to instill good study skills, reading, or reinforce something learned that day.
When my oldest was in kindergarten, most nights he simply had to read. When finished reading books, they were asked to do “book reports” that had the kids drawing their favorite character or writing a simple one or two sentence summary on why they did or did not like a book. The rationale was to promote at-home reading and have 100 books completed by the end of the school year. This was no problem for my son, who completed that goal before the end of the winter.
In first grade, we had worksheets and weekly spelling homework. Some evenings, there would be math skill practice; other nights, reminders of grammar being taught. Spelling was the same almost each week. Monday night was grueling. They were asked to write a sentence for each of the new words. This was not hard, but my son did not want to be bothered. He would try to get away with writing the most simple sentences and not challenging himself. As a teacher, I knew he was able to do more and tried to push him. I once talked to his teacher about it. She agreed that asking NHL to do more was not too much to ask.
In addition to nightly homework, projects will also come your way. Whether a science project, book report, or diorama about a holiday, they will be coming to a house near you. While in first grade, my oldest son came home with the task of creating a Leprechaun trap. Oy! The wheels in my head immediately started to turn with ideas. Still, I stood back and asked my son for ideas. We went to Michael’s together and looked for items to decorate his box. When we got home, we put everything on the table, and he let me know how he envisioned the Leprechaun trap. There were a few times that I suggested a few changes for logistics, but it was all his. I wanted NHL’s teacher to know this was his project and not something that Mommy made. Trust me, as a teacher, we know when the projects are done by the student and/or other adults at home. We see writing each day, so when something completely different comes in, it will be noted. Finding just the right balance to help your child, while giving them the chance to work on their own can be tricky.
How do you assist your school aged child with homework/projects while also allowing them to do their own work?
Disclosure: Parts of this post were previously published on a project I worked on. The text is mostly the same, but I placed a new introduction to go along with a topic that continues to be important for families.
I adore when you tell me about the projects that you are working on at school. Of course, once they come home it is even more impressive. I love the creativity you show and the fantastic projects your art teacher comes up with. This latest one was no different. You picked the poem called Orange Giraffe to make a Poem Tower based on it. The giraffe was super cute. I love how the Model Magic marbled to make the perfect giraffe pattern.
When you look at the entire piece, it was really amazing to see all of the details included. It was especially cool to listen to you explain how you read the poem, made a big drawing, base of project was made, and finally the giraffe to attach.
I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead the rest of this year in art and beyond. Oh and congratulations on winning the Word of the Week prize at school – very proud of you.
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